Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Physics: The Greatest Show on Earth

This past weekend PhysicsCentral, along with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the Society of Physics Students (SPS), The Optical Society (OSA), the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and the University of Maryland MRSEC teamed up to present 'Big Top Physics' at the second USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF, tired of the acronyms yet? So are we).   Held Saturday and Sunday with a preview day on Friday, this event attracted over 100,000 people to the Washington DC convention center to interact with exhibits from every branch of science.  This is the second time PhysicsCentral has participated in the event and we had a second amazing showing.  

Last year in honor of LaserFest we created a 'Laser Haunted House' that drew such a crowed there was a 45 min wait to go through our exhibit.  This year we wanted to again make it a themed booth and what better than the physics of the circus.   There were stilts to demonstrate balance:


Photo by: Matt Payne 

A tightrope of course:


Photo by: Matt Payne 

Spinning Plates to show off the joys of angular momentum:

Photo by: Mike Lucibella

An amusing way for kids to play circus music:

Photo by: Mike Lucibella

And of course, the ever popular bed of nails:

The event went off with out a hitch in spite of the huge crowds and questionably stable tents.  Hopefully next year will be even bigger and better.  Time to start planning!

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